Three NFC West questions for the road (air)

ST. LOUIS -- Three questions I'll consider after boarding a plane momentarily:

  • Will the San Francisco 49ers trail the rest of the division after Week 2? They face the defending Super Bowl champions on "Monday Night Football" and a victory could transform their season, rendering Week 1 irrelevant. A defeat, though far from disastrous, would leave the 49ers 0-2 and trailing at least the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. It's not a terrible stretch to envision the St. Louis Rams beating the Oakland Raiders.

  • How should NFC West teams stack up in the ESPN.com power rankings? I'll be voting Monday night. Rankings come out Tuesday. Power rankings last week: 49ers 13th, Cardinals 20th, Seahawks 26th and Rams 32nd. How far should the 49ers fall? How far should the Seahawks rise? How far should any team's ranking change after only one week? Wait, I've exceeded the three-question limit on this question alone.

  • How good can the Seahawks become this season? They won their 2009 opener, 28-0, before enduring a difficult season. That victory was against the Rams and therefore less impressive than Seattle's 31-6 thumping of the 49ers. But if the Seahawks are indeed better than expected for a team with so many new faces in new places, how many victories are realistic? I'll withhold judgment on that one for a couple weeks. No sense in being wrong twice.

That's it. Off to Seattle via Phoenix (nice connection, I know). Enjoy the Monday Night games.